Garbage and Recycling in Communities with Curbside Recycling and Unit-Based Pricing

37 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2000 Last revised: 9 Apr 2010

See all articles by Thomas C. Kinnaman

Thomas C. Kinnaman

Bucknell University - Department of Economics

Don Fullerton

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: April 1997

Abstract

This paper estimates the impact of a user fee and a curbside recycling program on garbage and recycling amounts, allowing for the possibility of endogenous policy choices. Previous estimates of the effects of these policies could be biased if unobserved variables such as local preference for the environment jointly impact the probability of implementing these policies and the levels of garbage and recycling collected in the community. A simple sequential model of local policymaking is estimated using original data gathered from a large cross-section of communities with user fees, combined with an even larger cross-section of towns without user fees but with and without curbside recycling programs. The combined data set is larger and more comprehensive than any used in previous studies. Without correction for endogenous policy, the price per unit of garbage collection has a negative effect on garbage and a positive cross-price effect on recycling. When we correct for endogenous policy, then the effect of the user fee on garbage increases, and the significance of the cross-price effect on recycling disappears.

Suggested Citation

Kinnaman, Thomas C. and Fullerton, Don, Garbage and Recycling in Communities with Curbside Recycling and Unit-Based Pricing (April 1997). NBER Working Paper No. w6021. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=226431

Thomas C. Kinnaman (Contact Author)

Bucknell University - Department of Economics ( email )

Lewisburg, PA 17837
United States
570-524-3465 (Phone)

Don Fullerton

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Finance ( email )

1206 South Sixth Street
Champaign, IL 61820
United States
(217) 244-3621 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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